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During a birthday party and memorial for Gordy, Schroeder left the party inside to sit alone in the ape's outdoor enclosure.

David Joles, Star Tribune

A death in the family

  • Article by: DAVID JOLES
  • Star Tribune
  • May 25, 2010 - 11:11 AM

No being feels the loss of Gordy the gorilla at Como Zoo more than his "stepbrother" Schroeder. During a recent memorial for Gordy, Schroeder moved off to sit alone in the ape's outdoor enclosure. The two western lowland gorillas grew up together and came to Como in 1991 to be part of a bachelor group with Togo. But last month, just days short of his 24th birthday, the 400-pound Gordy was found unresponsive. Standing nearby, Schroeder watched as staff members used chest compression and a defibrillator to try to revive Gordy. Megan Elder, Como's primate zoo keeper, and her colleagues are keeping a close eye on Schroeder, 24, and Togo, 21. "Gordy's passing is really beginning to sink in," Elder said. "These dynamics in these troupes and these bachelor groups can be really fragile, and so any little disruption can throw it off. We're keeping our fingers crossed that these two boys will get through this."

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